I began my annual mid-February drive along the Blossom Trail anticipating delightful visions of the beauty of nature’s bright blossom colors. However, this day I was feeling pretty flat after about an hour of driving and finding little to photograph. Only a few orchards of peaches and apricots are in bloom. Several plum trees tease, and cherry blossoms are nowhere to be found.
Approaching Hwy 180 at Frankwood, I was delighted to see the bright colors of The Art Stand Gallery sign, stating its hours as 11-5. I have passed that way before and always thought, “I’ll stop the next time.” Today I just had to see inside. What an uplifting discovery! It is truly a visual arts fest for the eyes.
The Art Stand Gallery is open daily and is also on the monthly Art Hop itinerary. The gallery's name reflects that it is a reused produce stand. Many of the old features are still there—such as the refrigerator cases and checkout counter. Old produce stand furnishings provide display space for items. Vintage produce signs and charm among the works of art. A co-operative of 14 local artists runs the decade-old business. They produce the artwork, sell it, and teach classes. Various art media are available—different kinds of pottery, jewelry (beads, fabric, glass), ceramics, watercolors, oils, acrylics, mixed media, greeting cards, and framed or frameable wall art.
Today I was greeted by Fresno potter, Tiwi S. Wood. Her works include intriguing pots, blossom laden pieces, and even a carved rainstick. Ms. Wood graciously showed me around and told me what she knew about the building, the artwork, and the artists. You can meet several of the cooperative artists during the next Art Hop(third Thursday of each month). Be sure to stop in between 5 and 8 p.m. this Thurs., Feb. 18, 2010.